Development of a high-intensity, pulsed-plasma, gas-discharge technology for destruction of hazardous aqueous environment micropollutants.
Rowan, Neil J.
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The aim of this study is to investigate the development and optimization of a highintensity, pulsed plasma, gas-discharge (PPGD) system as a novel environmental decontamination approach for treating unwanted microbial and chemical micropollutants. This PPGD system produces multiple short-lived decontaminating properties in the treatment chamber, which includes ozone, acoustic shock waves, UV-light and pulsed electric fields. Findings demonstrated that PPGD effectively inactivated a broad range of microbial pathogens including antibiotic-resistant bacteria and also significantly reducing phenol in treated samples (p< 0.05). However, HPLC analysis revealed that application PPGD produced a range of break-down by-products in phenol-treated samples, which exhibited significant ecotoxicological effects as demonstrated by use of Microtox™ assay. Greater ecotoxicological were observed from samples post PPGD treatments compared to that of the untreated-Phenol control samples (p<0.05). Shorter-exposure periods to PPGD treatment produced sub-lethal conditions for survival of test microbial pathogens, which were underestimated compared to enumeration of similarly PPGD-treated samples by conventional agar plate counts (p<0.05). While PPGD was shown to be an effective electro-technology for reducing or removing environmental micropollutants in water, it must be combined with other decontamination approaches in order to mitigate against undesirable toxicological endpoints produced during treatments.
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